Abstract

We report spectral linewidth measurements of a 9.1‐µm distributed-feedback quantum cascade laser (QCL). The free-running QCL beam was mixed with a waveguide isotopic C18O2 laser onto a high-speed HgCdTe photomixer, and beat notes were recorded from a radio-frequency spectral analyzer. Beating was performed at two operating conditions, first near the QCL laser threshold (beating with the C18O2R10 line) and then at a high injection current (beating with the C18O2R8 line). Overall, beat note widths of 1.3–6.5 MHz were observed, which proves that a free-running QCL can have a short-term spectral width near 1 MHz.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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